Junebug | EW.com

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JunebugThe southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy...JunebugDramaPT107MRThe southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy...2006-01-16Benjamin McKenzieAlessandro NivolaBenjamin McKenzie, Alessandro NivolaSony Pictures Classics

(JUNEBUG: Robert Kirk)

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Junebug

Genre: Drama; Starring: Embeth Davidtz, Benjamin McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola; Director: Phil Morrison; Author: Angus MacLachlan; Runtime (in minutes): 107; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

The southern-fried Junebug could have been way too precious: the wide-eyed, nine-months-pregnant naïf (an incandescent Amy Adams), her sullen, chain-smoking mother-in-law (Celia Weston, who does more with a stare than some actors do with a soliloquy), the quirky paintings obsessed with floating male genitalia (created for the film by Brooklyn artist Ann Wood). But director Phil Morrison finds drama in the downbeats, reveling in Chekhovian silences and transforming mundane moments — like the inflation of an air mattress — into exhilarating events.

EXTRAS An art gallery spotlights more than 30 works by Wood, and 10 deleted scenes offer additional insight into the motley crew of characters. (What were the girls gabbing about during the baby shower? OutKast, of course.) Casting sessions seem superfluous — we love Adams, but 14 minutes of her running the same lines over and over? — and a set of five behind-the-scenes mini-docs is skippable (”Meerkats Gone Wild” is not nearly as Animal Kingdom as we’d hoped). Meanwhile, Adams and Embeth Davidtz’s giggly commentary track manages to be both too much and not enough. Example: ”This was the day where my stomach started making noises.”

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